©1997 by Michael Ruhlman; (P)1998 by Blackstone Audiobooks
The story was interesting, however the narrator's performance was dreadful. He spoke in a complete monotone.
The descriptions of the curriculum and the preparation that goes into a restaurant meal was very interesting.
The narration was dull. The narrator seemed to be doing a cold reading of the text. There were awkward pauses (probably poor editing) and it was next to impossible to determine which character was supposed to be speaking.
Not really, I was just interested in the subject and thought it would be a good "read".
Narrative boring. No climactic finish.
Monotone basically. Errors/corrections. No character vocal changes.
Need a better narrator.
Yes, but only in print format.
His performance is so wooden. There are odd pauses and weird inflections throughout, and no differentiation between various people in the book. I finally realized who he reminded me of - the guy who does the English translations on Iron Chef, only not as much personality.
I really liked this book but I found the narrator irritating. He has a voice better suited for reading news.The problem is that since this book was published, Michael Ruhlman has become a well know food celebrity. He should do this audio book over and read it himself. He has a great voice. I bought Medium Raw and if anyone but Tony Bourdain had read it I would have been very disappointed. It wasn't a horrible experience but it always took me a few minutes to get used to the voice when rejoining the book. If Ruhlman read this book I would buy it a second time for sure.
I never fully appreciated the contribution of a narrator until I tried to listen to this book. Painfully, mind-numbingly boring.....so bad that Audible may wish to review whether this is a book it wants to keep offering.
I read this book several years ago, along with its successor "The Soul of a Chef" - thoroughly enjoyed both, have recommended them to friends, and purchased several as gifts. What a disappointment to hear the audio version. This narrator is TERRIBLE - there are awkward pasues throughout the narration, and inexcusable mispronunciations of basic cooking terms and place names (Barnard College pronounced as "Bernard" eg) For a book that so passionately conveys the pursuit of perfection, its a shame that the narrator didn't bother to do minimal homework. Read the books, skip this audio. And a note to Mr. Ruhlman: if "Soul of a Chef" is going to be made into an audiobook, please narrate it yourself or get a food professional to do it.
Interesting insight into the making of a cook and chef (they aren't the same, I learned). A bit long winded at times, but worth the time.
Audio quality is pretty dismal in places. Whoever they've got splicing these tapes together really did a crummy job. Nothing is missing, but it is annoying. A less forgiving person would have tried to get his credit back.
One would think this book would be more interesting. The world of the student chef is complex and intricate, with many idiosyncrasies to discover and, if you're something of epicure as I am, splendid details to relish as they are revealed and described in eye-witness precision. Unfortunately, this book is simply a collection of journal notes and linear entires, without a clear sense of progression or arc of narrative. It has all the energy of an Audio Blog. I never knew where this "story" was going to end and could have finished after almost any chapter. More annoying is the pedantic and stilted voice of Riggenbach, the reader. I would have hoped this reader would have better researched his subject matter, but too many mispronunciations (like "no-chee" for gnocchi and "coo-liss" for coulis) undermine the attention to detail which Ruhlman gives to this culinary setting. Early in the book, Ruhlman sets up cookery as something of philosophical observation for life and finding one's way in the world. He just doesn't pay it off. I finished unsatisfied and hungry for more.
I am not a "foodie" and I'm a lousy cook, but I love cooking shows, the Food Channel, and interesting books about food and cooking. This is not an interesting book about food and cooking.
Ruhlman is a writer who went to chef school (at the Culinary Institute of America, America's premiere cooking school) to write about it, but one of his teachers told him he wasn't a real chef. This pissed Ruhlman off, so he decided to prove he could become a real chef, and he went through the whole program with as much determination as any of the other students.
This could be an interesting saga, especially written by a professional writer, but instead it reads like the journal of a cooking school student. He tells us about his classes, his teachers, his services, now and then rambles a bit about brown sauce or tells us something about one of his fellow students, and just keeps going like that all the way to the end. There are no interesting facts or surprising revelations about food or cooking school, just a very dry, matter-of-fact account of the industry. Ruhlman's writing is journalistic and without personality.
I suppose if you're thinking about going to cooking school, this is a good book to get a taste of what it's like. But compared to, for example, Trevor Corson's The Story of Sushi or one of Anthony Bourdain's books, this book was just dull.
This book could have been even better had the author cut half of it out. The book seems solely made for individuals in the restaurant biz, which I am. But I found it a little too textbook at times.
The narrator is not as terrible as others have mentioned. He is dry and offers no different character voices, but he reads it well.
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